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Minimum Net Driving Temperature Concept for Membrane Distillation

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Water Desalination and Reuse Center (WDRC), Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division (BESE), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia
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Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, Van der Maasweg 9, 2629 HZ Delft, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Membranes 2020, 10(5), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes10050100
Received: 13 April 2020 / Revised: 29 April 2020 / Accepted: 10 May 2020 / Published: 14 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing the Efficiency of Membrane Processes for Water Treatment)
In this study, we analyzed the heat requirement of membrane distillation (MD) to investigate the trade-off between the evaporation efficiency and driving force efficiency in a single effect MD system. We found that there exists a non-zero net driving temperature difference that maximizes efficiency. This is the minimum net driving temperature difference necessary for a rational operational strategy because below the minimum net driving temperature, both the productivity and efficiency can be increased by increasing the temperature difference. The minimum net driving temperature has a similar magnitude to the boiling point elevation (~0.5 °C for seawater), and depends on the properties of the membrane and the heat exchanger. The minimum net driving temperature difference concept can be used to understand the occurrence of optimal values of other parameters, such as flux, membrane thickness, and membrane length, if these parameters are varied in a way that consequently varies the net driving temperature difference. View Full-Text
Keywords: exergy efficiency; thermodynamic analysis; desalination; optimization exergy efficiency; thermodynamic analysis; desalination; optimization
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Blankert, B.; Vrouwenvelder, J.S.; Witkamp, G.-J.; Ghaffour, N. Minimum Net Driving Temperature Concept for Membrane Distillation. Membranes 2020, 10, 100.

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